Sir - It was disappointing to read the Worcester News Comment (Thurs 12 March) defending the racing industry against criticism over the death of Theatre Queen. She was actually one of two confirmed fatalities at this year’s Cheltenham Festival – the other being Rolling Star.

The article made rhetorical assertions relating to the treatment of horses used in racing, and promoted the notion that race horses enjoy the role in which we place them for our entertainment. There was a brief, unsupported sentence relating to their historical DNA in the hope that readers would accept the claim that a racehorse’s lot is good and that the industry is wholesome and responsible. How wrong.

Our detailed records demonstrate that there is a 50 per cent chance of a horse dying on every day’s racing at Cheltenham Racecourse – a statistic borne out by this year’s fatalities at the Festival. In addition to the on-course dead, around 1,000 unwanted thoroughbreds are sent to the abattoir each year.

Far from the breed dying out through campaigners opposed to horse racing, the ‘sport’ is killing itself through poor breeding practices, unacceptable race conditions and lack of support for the horses who leave racing once their careers are over.

Dene Stansall

Horse Consultant

Animal Aid